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tv   Expo 74  CSPAN  September 3, 2017 2:16pm-2:31pm EDT

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the 21st century. the world he grew up in was a face-to-face world. he knew people personally. he did not have to read about them or be told about them. this was a kind of village. all of the people he dealt with he knew personally. he knew people of integrity, he knew the ones to watch out for. they were neighbors. bing crosby, for the rest of his life, treated people like neighbors. that is why the neighborhood is so important to understanding the rest of his life. >> all weekend, american history tv is featuring spokane, washington. c-span city to her visitlearn more,.
2:17 pm ♪ in 1974.4 took place smoke and was off -- it's most place in the world tab or hosted world's fair. it was the first environmental world's fair, the first to use an environment. or wasve it's 1972 -- the first birthday. was a great consciousness around the world about environmentalism. it became arguably the accession -- obsession of what drove people to create a world fair -- and a series of behaviors that corresponded to a better
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consciousness of the environment. right now, we are in the archives section of the northwest -- museum of arts and culture in spokane. quite a few of the records from 1974 here, what we're looking at map, now, is a very large this was goingor ironically before people went up in airplanes. they had these maps that put you in your imagination above the city. they very carefully worked out -- to show the buildings in the city. what you can see here is the spokane river. would be thehis east, idaho. is 1890.ane, this you can see mills along the city , bridges across it.
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no railroad tracks, that comes in later. there's one line -- a conceivable series of railroads red cross this part of the river. --s is basically the region where this whole thing takes place. bear in mind, in 1960, say, this is what book and looked like. for,iver is essentially very ugly urban flooding downtown. at one point, that flooding was progress. we have trains, mills, they are making us a lot of money. at a variety of things happened that made that change. one of them was specter -- of the shopping center. a big shopping center went up north in spokane. it still there today, north town. with that, a lot of commerce moved out of downtown spokane to be a side. spokane if you look at
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in 1930-40, photographs of the speed -- treat center looks like mid cap manhattan today, streets were crowded. by my eye 1960, most trade had moved to the shopping centers. the streets were almost deserted, commerce was failing, and that is what really what started people thinking about urban renewal, somehow making the downtown more attractive. there were a series of meetings of various kinds of people putting together a variety of ideas but it didn't get much past ideas. yes they wanted a better downtown. a few people said, that river is kind of pretty, maybe we can make something out of it that people would want to come down and see. was, thereproblems was a lot of packing. backing wasn't a lot of to work on it day by day. 60's,oint in the late
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spokane did a nationwide search. king:, it or not, naturally all the newspapers picked up the cliche and said he was an old soul. they just wanted to get that out of the way. king cole was the real deal. he would like to say that warrior,ad needed a not with a sword, but somebody to work. they had somebody that could sleep and be thinking about it -- 18 hours a day. cold and that. -- he did that. he got people together, he had quite a bit of responsibility. he came up with the idea ultimately of the world fair, which in a town the size of spokane, which was then about 180,000 people, that was very pretentious. worlds fairs specifically were new york, even seattle would be
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a small city to have a world fair. it had one in 1962. ultimatelykane -- olympia, washington, the capital, worked on it. .hey worked on it a lot king cole committee number of trips to paris, where the center for the world fair exist. the begins exploring with him the idea of this little city in the west having a world fair. was --the attractions bringing people to a related have the falls -- for ford, general motors, we want them to exhibit at expo 74 -- while there's a town that's not that well known. we call it spokane. at the time, most people, a few --ple said cocaine pronounced it like cocaine.
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that's not how it's pronounced. river falls would be spectacular. now, like any western river fed , snorttain and snow melt -- spokane river is most spectacular in the spring when the water is running. at one point they had people coming in from detroit, particularly ford and general motors, and representatives of those companies. they wanted to persuade them that this would be a good place for a world fair. trouble was, it was august or september and water has to -- gone down to just a trickle. are several river naturally, the power company is interested in seeing this fair happen. they arranged to cut off the flow of the river entirely for a time, while king cole and others
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in spokane had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the side of the falls. only, they carefully set them down to where they would not looking at the river. say,predetermined time, 1:00. king cole said, have you seen our river? they say no. the scene are false? they say no. -- falls? no. they say, let's take a look. there were the walls crashing through the center of the city. they were very impressed by it. they went back to the hotel, 20 minutes later the power company shut off the river, turned off the faucet. they had made their case very well. gettingion to corporations to exhibit -- this for example, there be another when they came to the world fair, a more important question states, nation,
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and other countries around the world. state, was enthusiastic that it would be in their state. a pavilion, which became basically concert hall, upper house, but is still beside the we were learning up other countries around the world. japan, for example, the person that did australia. the clincher for spokane, probably the thing that put the map -- them on the map, was probably the first time since world war ii, the soviet union exhibited at american world fair -- not only did they come to spokane, became in force they built a huge pavilion with three theaters -- three theaters inside. spokane was and is
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somewhat more conservative than other parts of the country. affection for communism and the soviet union was not necessarily second nature or spokane. they might be anti-soviet on the other, they were very pro-soviet, very grateful that so much have been done for our world fair. ♪ of the fair came in early may of 1974. it's about 80,000 people who came to that. is a openingd speech. >> it's a great privilege to be toe on this beautiful day speak about what this particular occasion means, not only are now, and the days ahead in this summer. maybe millions will come to see
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it. looking down to the faces of history perhaps for the year 2000 -- 25 years from now. we celebrated new year that comes once a month thousand years. and when we look back to see a new yearnow -- that was not only the greatest new year for america but for every nation in the world. today we speak with the environment in terms that we should. when you share in the water/that this be a part of all of those other things that have to do with making our cities and towns and countryside more youthful. for children and those that follow us.
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another aspect of environments that occurs to each of us/is what this magnificent expo is going to leave as a legacy. it -- it will leave -- some of these beautiful wilderness, it will leave 100 parks. heartsll leave us in the of the city of spokane, a great area. monuments to watch you, the citizens of spokane and -- a state of washington, in putting on expo 74. >> this was a very awkward time for president nixon. watergate inquiry scandal had been going on for well over a year at this point. had recently, the tapes been discovered, which put the nail in his coffin in terms of ending his residence.
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but that was opening day. fair them to win -- them that went on. it's still a rule that a world fair runs for six months normally. during that time, about 5 million people came to see the world fair, which is not a large number in terms of, something like the huge shanghai world fair of 2010, where i believe 80 million people came. if you take the population of million, and the population of spokane at about 200,000, a much higher proportion of people came to the spokane fair. so, a small fair, but in its way, tremendously successful. all of this of course is good goes, 43 years ago. a lot of capital since then.
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the park has been developed year-by-year. initially -- it took about two years to get the buildings out and put grass. it's mainly now these i believe there's in the neighborhood million dollars, going into refurbishing the park. fairt only was the beneficial immediately, in terms nowransforming spokane, but for the better part of 50 years later, there's still momentum that began there that is part of the experience of that place, the place of the middle of spokane. all weekend, american history tv is featuring spokane, washington. this teacher many sites with their history. located -- and the eastern part of the state about 280 miles from


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